Maryland, Massachusetts Inch Toward Mobile Sports Betting

Maryland, Massachusetts Inch Toward Legal Mobile Sports Betting

© USA Today

Maryland sports officials moved the state closer last week to possible mobile sports betting as early as December.

Meanwhile in Massachusetts, authorities have agreed to stick with a plan to introduce on-site sports betting in January and mobile betting in March.

These states would be two of the next to allow the use of mobile applications for legal sports betting.

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Maryland Regulators Allow Operators

In Maryland, voters approved sports betting in 2020, which followed nearly a year after the introduction of sports betting at casino sportsbooks.

Since then, critics have expressed frustration with the lengthy process to implement mobile betting in Maryland.

The pace is determined in part by the government’s effort to include small- and women-owned companies that have been underrepresented in the sports betting industry.

Now, after appearing in Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, mobile sports betting seems imminent.

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On Thursday, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission ruled that 10 online gambling operators are eligible for licenses.

At its next meeting scheduled for November 21, the commission is expected to vote on the final approval of these qualified personnel. The launch of mobile sports betting is likely within a few weeks of approval, perhaps within the first few days of December, if not earlier.

That means sports betting will begin during the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl. This season’s Super Bowl is scheduled for Feb. 12, 2023, Glendale Arizona. Week after week, NFL games are the most betted sporting events in the region.

Applicants who qualified this week for mobile licenses are:

  • Horseshoe Casino Baltimore
  • Hollywood Casino Perryville
  • Maryland Live Hanover
  • MGM National Harbor
  • Greenmount Station Hampstead
  • Long shot Frederick
  • Riverboat on the Potomac
  • Washington Commanders’ FedEx Field Landover
  • Bingo World Brooklyn Park
  • Maryland State Fairgrounds
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Source: The Daily Record

The above applicants are awaiting final approval at the November commission meeting.

Currently, 10 mobile sports operator applicants have been approved. These operators “generally cooperate with licensees, provide technical and operational excellence” and do not need the commission’s signature at the November meeting, according to the Daily Record. These operators are:

  • American Wagering (Caesar’s Sportsbook)
  • BetFair
  • BetFred
  • BetMGM
  • The Kings Are Not Prepared
  • The zealots
  • Parx Interactive
  • Barstool Sportsbook
  • PointsBet
  • BetRivers

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Massachusetts on Target for 2023 Launch

Also this week, gaming regulators in Massachusetts rejected a request from DraftKings to launch same-day mobile sports betting.

A Boston-based online sportsbook argues that the dramatic launch gives early movers an unfair competitive advantage.

On Thursday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission considered DraftKings’ request but stuck with the surprise proposal that was agreed to by a 4-0 vote.

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Under that plan, in-person betting will begin in January 2023 at casino sportsbooks, followed by the introduction of mobile betting in early March.

The goal of this timeline is to make sports betting available at brick-and-mortar sportsbooks during the Super Bowl, with mobile betting starting before the NCAA March Madness men’s basketball tournament from March 14 to April 3.

At the October meeting, the commission heard from staff who expressed concern that introducing sports betting so close to the Super Bowl could create a public safety hazard when large crowds of bettors arrive at casinos.


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